Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Batam pt 3: Revenge of the African Cheesecake.

Recap from my previous blog, Batam Pt2: The cabbie speaketh.

Planet 9 From Outer Space… Agent ZOR985XZ2…Bermuda Triangle…Urine…Perfume…missing Ewok.

Aside: This part may contain materials, facts and information that may deem offensive to certain quarters, namely lovers of dogs (or freaks) or supporters of Jerry the mouse. And it has nothing to do whatsoever to African cheesecake, which till today remains a mysterious entity, like Bigfoot. Its use as title is purely coincidental and meant to sensationalise the otherwise dull blog entry. End of aside.

And there we were, waiting for the ferry. I was feeling sleepy and still managed to strike conversation with Zeff and the Star reporter. Soon, we were to board the ferry and no untoward accident like falling off the platform occurred.

Why I said that? Well, the last time I boarded a ferry, a large number of us would have been in the water. And me, being of cat nature, is afraid of water. I shower twice a day and drink shitload of coffee and that’s as far as the intimate involvement with water goes. Otherwise, I hate to be in the sea or swimming pool.

This bad ferry moment happened when the family decided to visit Pulau Ketam (off Port Klang) recently. The platform was bare cement with splashed mud and trash, and there was nothing between the ferry and platform. And most Malaysians being kind, considerate and ever patient, lined up in a long queue and helped each other to board the ferry.

Haha! I was kidding of course. When the ferry was ready to be boarded, I found myself desperately trying to make sure that my mother did not slip when boarding, and she was she was making sure that a little grandnephew of hers did not get trapped between the ferry and the platform and find his way to the sea. It was chaotic.

But here, the boarding process was smooth like boarding a plane. And we found a nice corner to seat and soon we were off to Batam. As soon as I sat, I slept like a baby. Okay, babies nowadays are poor sleepers themselves, so I slept like a log. Hang on, do logs sleep. I mean, when they are cut they are, like, dead right? So, I slept like a cat…which does an awful lot of sleeping and napping. In fact the term cat-napping came….

Okay, okay, I’ll get on with the story.

We reached Batam after an hour an a half, roughly, and found ourselves in the immigration centre that is about as big as my old school cafeteria. One of the immigration officer suddenly made noise about visa, and the matter was quickly resolved when the guard on watch overpowered and handcuffed him, before bringing him to an interrogation room and beat him up with a rubber hose and Indonesian phone book.

Haha, just a little violence scene to wake you up. No, nothing like that happen. As I learned from previous trips to Jakarta, Indonesians are generally very friendly people, and somewhat very genuine. I can’t say the same about Malaysian immigration, because we use autopass for our passport when they are usually nowhere to be seen at the “Nothing to declare” exit.

A feeder van to Holliday Villa waited for us, and we were in the hotel in five minutes. We got ourselves rooms, and mine was at the ninth floor. We had about three and a half hours to kill before the dinner, planned at 6.30 pm (7.30pm our time). We were away from the town, and it was a long walk to the beach, so I thought of the best thing to do at times like this – sleep.

The hotel room was big. You can have a family living there comfortably. Of course, you will be paying through your nose or any other convenient orifice for that. The bed is perfect for a cabinet minister to have his nocturnal romp and the architecture is not complex enough for CCTV cameras.

I did my TV channel flipping and napped a bit and showered and got ready for dinner. At the lobby Zeff and the star Reporter waited for us. The girls were nowhere to be seen. Zeff offered several options for dinner and we settled for the best - dinner in the hotel and then we go out.

Apparently the most famous shopping spot in Batam is called Nagoya. Considering Singapore’s influence there, shouldn’t it be called something like New Changi or San Woodlands? Nagoya….hmmm…what awaits us there? But first, our first meal in Batam….(to be continued)

Watch out for Batam Ahoy Pt 4: I Never Planned For Part Four.

P.S. I swear, this just keep getting bigger and bigger and one day I am going to look at an empty Word file and my brain will quietly make its descent through my ears and find its way to the lavatory. Ah, the pressure and stress a writer endures.


Anonymous said...

Since when have you started 'swearing'

Rakesh Kumar said...

I swear I didn't do it. But swearing is "in" these days, especially over holy book or in holy place.